For the last nine years, my partner and I have talked about, one day, being married. The idea is a simple, low-cost backyard ceremony with just our parents. I can wear wedding dress that’s been worn by numerous generations in my family. My to-be husband can place his grandmother’s modest ring on my finger. And we can cook something ourselves. Simple, low-key, easy.
Well, the other day, I had a dream about this future wedding. In the dream, I went big–our tiny backyard gathering had a photographer and croquet! I woke up laughing hysterically because I don’t even know how to play croquet. After joking about how quirky and absurd my mind is, my boyfriend and I got to talking about weddings and marriage.
Society will tell you to focus on making a beautiful fairy tale wedding. It’s presented as if the success of that one day will set the tone for the rest of your life. I would instead urge couples who are dating or engaged to focus more on becoming a righteous man or a virtuous woman, so you can have a beautiful marriage. The foundation that a relationship is built on is vastly more important than the grand gestures of a wedding.
When entering or deepening a relationship, all involved parties should continuously take the self improvement steps necessary to be the best possible partner and, perhaps eventually, parent. Become the type of person who can, and will, be a loving and supportive spouse. The idea is to grow together.
I cringe when I hear about people spending thousands and thousands of dollars on their wedding. Going into debt for a single event seems very unwise. No couple should begin a marriage with that kind of financial strain. It’s crazy that society has normalized this.
Many don’t seem to realize that getting married isn’t the finish line. It’s the starting point. Marriage changes nothing (except maybe tax brackets) and only serves to legally document your commitment to another. To move from “married” to “happily married for x-number-of-years” requires significant work, commitment, and compromise, but it’s worth it. We should focus more on the relationship, not the labels.
A good wedding is easy. A good marriage is hard.
If people kept up the energy they used to plan their wedding day and invested in their marriage like they spent on venue, flowers, dinner, and alcohol for one day, there would be so many healthy and happy marriages.